The pace of EV development continues to quicken. Every new electric that’s announced seems to offer longer range, more power, and more impressive performance.
At the extreme exotic end, the electric Rimac Nevera is now the quickest thing you can buy at any price. But down in the price range where most people buy their cars, Kia is offering one of the best values on a true hot rod.
The 2023 Kia EV6 GT AWD is a dual-motor AWD five-door (industry code for hatchback) station wagon. The station wagon classification is according to the EPA, but for enthusiasts it’s far from pejorative. The EV6 joins such classic performance wagons as the Volvo V70 R and the Audi RS6 Avant.
The EV6 looks different enough that no one else on the road will be driving a copycat, and it brings the acceleration, speed, and handling you crave.
The EV6 GT looks like a science fiction version of a futuristic station wagon. But there’s more to it than just funky looks for funkiness’ sake. It’s got aggressive lines and fat, rounded fenders over the wheels that tell you this car is made for road or track. In the GT trim, you also get nifty bright-colored brake calipers.
Ours were sort of a nuclear neon green, but you can choose the color. There’s a bold chin spoiler up front, big brakes, and open wheels to show you the hardware. It may take a minute to get used to the looks, but after a week you’ll love the EV6 from any angle.
The EV6 interior is laid out smartly, and it’s easy to operate. The center console sticks out in the air unsupported, giving you a largish storage area underneath. This should please my wife, who consistently complains of no convenient place to put her purse in press cars. The wireless phone charger is also there on the console. Typically of modern cars, the driver information display and infotainment are contained in a single panel of curved glass stretching across the dash.
Upholstery is suede-ish Alcantara, with neon green contrast trim that matches the brake calipers. A nice touch. I found the seats a little too firm and boy-racer-ish, but then I’m old and crave comfort, even in my sports cars. There’s plenty of room in the back seats, too.
As we mentioned, the EV6 GT is motivated by twin electric motors, front and rear. Totaled up, they provide 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. Pause with me for a moment and reflect that just a few years ago, that would have sounded absurd for anything less than a Lamborghini or some supercharged Dodge muscle machine.
In the EV6, that level of power translates to 3.4 seconds 0-60, which is faster than a Ferrari Roma or some versions of the Lamborghini Huracan. A quarter-mile drag run is finished in 11.6 seconds at 119 mph, so you can be king of the local strip right off the showroom floor.
The battery in the EV6 is a 77.4 kWh Lithium-ion pack, and with the performance GT model, you get 206 miles of range, and DC Fast Charging capability. If you have a 240-Volt Level 2 charger at home, a full recharge takes about 8.9 hours, so that’s easily accomplished overnight.
Safety and Technology
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the EV6 a five-star crash test rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the EV6 as a “Top Safety Pick+,” its top designation for 2022. The 2023 models are the same, so this car is a great choice for safety.
As a premium EV, the EV6 also brings the advanced driver assistance tech. The Kia Drive-Wise package includes forward collision avoidance assistance, blind spot assistance, rear cross-traffic assistance, lane keeping and following, parking assistance, safe exit, and highway driving assistance. That’s not just beeps and warnings; the car will help you do the right thing. But here’s something special: it’s not intrusive. As an experienced driver, I really hate feeling like I’m fighting the car when we disagree about where we should be in the lane. The EV6 doesn’t do that.
On the dash, you’ve got dual 12.3-inch screens for the digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen. You also get a nice augmented reality head-up display with the GT, as well as surround-view and rear-view cameras for backing up. Audio comes courtesy of a nice Meridian system. It sounds great, as if there was any doubt.
The driving experience is where the EV6 GT really proves its value. Coming home over the mountains and getting to know the car, I encountered a species of driver familiar to all of us. The kind who poke along a 55 mph road at 40, until you get to the passing lane. Then they suddenly turn into a drag racer. If you’re in the EV6 GT, you have nothing to worry about. A quick dip of the accelerator pedal and it’s “Not today, Satan” as you leave the road gnome in your ever-so-green dust.
The EV6 is tight, precise, and quick, as well as quiet inside while you enjoy your tunes and a smooth ride. Honestly, I didn’t want to give it back at the end of the week.
2023 Kia EV6 GT Specifications
|L: 184.8 inches/W: 74.4 inches/H: 60.8 inches/Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
|Dual synchronous permanent magnet motors; direct AWD
|79 MPG-e/206 miles of range
|576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $61,400; As tested: $62,865 including $1,295 destination charge
The 2023 Kia EV6 GT AWD is its own trim level, so there’s really not much to add. Our test car carried a basic MSRP of $61,400, and to that we added $170 for floor mats and the $1,295 destination charge for a total of $62,865. That may sound like a high number for a Kia, but when you drive the EV6 GT, you’ll get why it’s a value and why the EV6 GT is Kia’s new halo car.
2023 Kia EV6 GT — Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Kia EV6 qualify for tax credit?
Not for the US Federal tax credit, as it’s made in Korea. However, your state may offer a tax credit. Check your state laws to be sure.
How long will the Kia EV6 last?
From 10-20 years, typically. Every EV6 comes with a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the batteries and powertrain.
How long to charge an EV6 at home?
If you have a 50 Amp 240-Volt charger at home, about 8-9 hours.